Let’s talk about The Greatest Showman. This film seems to be dominating both the box office and the music charts and for good reason. I saw this film recently and was blown away. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a musical this fabulous and what’s more, I can’t get the bloody songs out of my head!
Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, The Greatest Showman is inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum’s creation of Barnum & Bailey Circus, known as the greatest show on earth. We follow P.T. Barnum (Jackman) right from the very beginning when he first formulated the idea of the circus, a place where people who weren’t considered ‘normal’ could be a part of something great. We see the struggles Barnum and his circus family have to go through as they bring this unique show to life. We also get a glimpse of how his family life changes and the animosity that the performers have to deal with from the general public. The blossoming relationship between trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and Barnum’s partner Phillip Carlyle (Efron) is the love story of the film. Facing criticism due to the fact that they both come from different classes of society and that Wheeler is African-American, their story captures the hearts of the audience and you end up really rooting for them.
The script is straightforward and easy to follow; full of happy moments that just make you want to get up and dance but equally filled with moments where your heart breaks for the characters. In one scene, the circus performers fight back against the prejudice of society and break into the incredible song This is Me. That scene is so kick-ass and full of such determination with an incredible message behind it – you can be whoever you want to be. I now can’t listen to that song without a big grin on my face and a tear in my eye!
The characters in this film come from all walks of life which I loved – it highlighted that we are all unique and different. I found Barnum a confusing one as I was rooting for him at the beginning and then I started to dislike him for his greediness in the middle of the film. I developed a soft spot for Carlyle as throughout the film, you get to see him develop as a person once he has been set free from his upper class shackles.
The whole movie features excellent cinematography and special effects. From flying through the air with Wheeler to spinning around the circus tent with Carlyle, you truly feel like you’re on a journey with them. As a result, I was so engrossed in the movie that I didn’t want it to come to an end. I could have sat there and watched it all night.
What can I say about the music? I honestly haven’t heard a soundtrack like this one in a long time. I had to go out and by the album after I saw the film just so I could listen to the music on loop in my car! Every single song is great. They’re catchy, beautifully sung and tell an excellent story. What’s more, there’s a song for every mood – upbeat songs that make you want to get up and dance, slow songs that are sung beautifully and triumphant songs that make you want to go and conquer the world. They truly are full of life. I love all of the songs but if I had to choose my top three, they would be This is Me, The Greatest Show and Never Enough. This is Me won best original song at the Golden Globe Awards and has also been nominated for an Academy Award – fingers crossed it wins!
Full of colour, magic and moments that make your heart soar, The Greatest Showman is a musical treasure and one that should not be missed. Many theatres are still showing it (I am tempted to go again so I can sing along 😉 ) so go and watch it and let me know what you think in the comments below!